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Elsewhere: Newsom Announces Lt. Gov. Run On CBS 5 CBS5, It’s official: Newsom’s running for lieutenant governor Chron, Newsom officially announces lt. governor bid AP via ABC7, Newsom Announces Lt. Gov Candidacy in Old Media Blitz. Sorry Twitter. SF Weekly, Newsom Confirms Lt. Gov Bid KCBS

11:05 AM:San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom today officially announced his candidacy for the state’s lieutenant governor position and has already been endorsed by a number of politicians and labor unions.

Newsom, who ended weeks of speculation about his decision whether to enter the race with today’s announcement, said in a statement that he is running because “local communities throughout California can only achieve their full potential if we fix the dysfunction that is strangling progress in Sacramento.”

The mayor has already received the endorsements of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco; and Senate President Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento; as well as the California Nurses Association and the United Food and Commercial Workers Western State Council.

Newsom also received the endorsement of state Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez of Kern County, who had been running for lieutenant governor but decided to drop out and pledge his support to the mayor.

Florez said in a statement that Newsom “is by far the most qualified candidate running for LG with a long and proven track record of making big, bold ideas a reality.”

A poll conducted earlier this year of 600 likely Democratic voters statewide showed Newsom receiving 33 percent of the vote if he ran for lieutenant governor in the June Democratic primary, compared to 17 percent for Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn and 15 percent for Florez. The poll showed 35 percent of voters were undecided.

The duties of a lieutenant governor include serving as acting governor when the governor is out of the state or unable to perform the duties of the office, serving as the president of the state Senate, where they can cast the deciding vote in the event of a tie. The lieutenant governor also serves as a University of California regent and is a chair or member of several state commissions and councils.

Newsom, who in October dropped out the race for the governor’s seat, has faced criticism from Hahn’s campaign, including her chief strategist Garry South, who also worked on Newsom’s gubernatorial campaign.

South said in a statement last month that Newsom “expressed nothing but disinterest and disdain for the office of lieutenant governor” and hoped the mayor would “explain why he now claims to want an elected office he summarily dismissed publicly numerous times over the last several months.”

Newsom acknowledged today that he has “openly questioned whether the office of LG is the right place to lead a reform movement that has the power to shake up Sacramento,” but he said he has come around on the idea.

“As I’ve opened my mind, asked tough questions and met with esteemed experts, I’m more convinced than ever that the broad, informal portfolio of the office allows our Lieutenant Governor the freedom and platform to engage on any issue,” he said.

The mayor said the decision to enter the race was difficult because of his duties to the city, but he said he was certain he could be “both a successful candidate in this race and a devoted husband and father without having my focus, attention or passion for the job of Mayor affected or diluted by even one iota.”

If Newsom were to win the lieutenant governor’s seat in the November election, he would remain mayor until taking the seat in January 2011. Board of Supervisors President David Chiu would then become mayor until the board, by a vote of six or greater, appointed an interim mayor who would serve until the term ends in January 2012.

8:14 PM: San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom confirmed this morning he is entering the race for lieutenant governor of California.

The mayor had said Thursday that he would announce his decision today.

Newsom, who in October dropped out the race for the governor’s seat, has said he is intrigued by the idea of working on the state level.

A poll conducted earlier this year of 600 likely Democratic voters statewide showed Newsom receiving 33 percent of the vote if he ran for lieutenant governor, compared to 17 percent for Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn and 15 percent for state Sen. Dean Florez from Kern County. The poll showed 35 percent of voters were undecided.
Both Hahn and Florez have declared their candidacy for the June primary. Candidates have until today to enter the primary.

If Newsom were to win the lieutenant governor’s seat in the November election, he would remain mayor until taking the seat in January 2011. Board of Supervisors President David Chiu would then become mayor until the board, by a vote of six or greater, appointed an interim mayor.

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  • kl2real

    He must be relieved to, once again, have an excuse for not doing much at his current job.